Greece: Lavrov endorses extension of territorial waters to 12 nm, albeit with respect to common sense and geographical peculiarities

Greece: Lavrov endorses extension of territorial waters to 12 nm, albeit with respect to common sense and geographical peculiarities

Russian Foreign Minister calls for direct dialogue with Turkey

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a series of contacts during his visit to Greece on Monday, as he met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Main Opposition Leader Alexis Tsipras and his counterpart Nikos Dendias.

“Russia can not adopt any position other than that dictated by the Law of the Sea”, he said, adding that any member of the treaty could register their territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles, respecting common sense and geographical peculiarities.

Nikos Dendias explained to Sergey Lavrov the escalation of the Turkish provocative behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean, as “just yesterday, Turkey reaffirmed for the umpteenth time its will to conduct illegal seismic surveys in areas within the Greek continental shelf”. The Greek Minister also made it clear that Greece was ready for all contingencies and had no choice but to fully defend its sovereignty and sovereign rights.

The Russian Foreign Minister stressed that differences and problems should be resolved “only through negotiations with consideration and respect for the interests of everyone” and “on the basis of international law”, In fact, he underlined that the Law of the Sea is key to normalizing the situation.

“Any problems that arise between the countries must be resolved through dialogue. No matter how difficult the situation between Greece and Turkey is, we will always remain in favor of discussing and resolving these problems through direct dialogue”, Lavrov said.

Regarding regional developments, Nikos Dendias pointed out that in all cases discussed with his counterpart, “the common denominator was the destabilizing role of Turkey and its neo-Ottoman expansionist tendencies”.

The Greek Foreign Minister even raised the issue of exports of military equipment to Turkey and the fact that this equipment destabilizes all countries in the region, while expressing his concern about Turkey’s role in Syria.

The latest developments in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh were also tapped on, while the Cyprus issue was discussed as well, based on the UN Security Council resolutions, with Mr. Dendias stressing that “Russia holds a pivotal role as a permanent member of the Security Council; it strongly and steadily supports the relevant efforts that are being launched, something that Greece particularly appreciates”.

Regarding the Greek-Russian relations, Mr. Dendias stressed that the two countries and their peoples are connected through a long-term, strong friendship rooted in history, culture, religion, mutual respect and mutual understanding, while emphasizing that Greece will keep communication channels with Russia steadily open.

He noted that Greece, an EU and NATO member state, seeks and works to maintain and strengthen the channels of communication between these Organizations and Russia, through the institutionalized structures.

He pointed out that, in terms of Greek-Russian economic relations, special emphasis was placed on energy, the economic and cultural sectors and especially on energy issues, with Greece looking forward to the continuation of mutually beneficial cooperation and its expansion in areas such as Renewable Energy Sources.

For his part, the Russian Foreign Minister described Greece as “one of Russia’s most important partners with long-standing historical ties of friendship”. He recalled that, at the beginning of the pandemic, there was mutual aid between the countries, especially in terms of repatriation of citizens.

He pointed out that at, bilateral level, there is mutual interest in overcoming the reduction of bilateral trade as soon as possible, while as soon as conditions allow, the joint inter-ministerial committee for economic, industrial, scientific and technological cooperation will be held.

Sergey Lavrov expressed his appreciation to Greece as the chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, while very important documents, including as the Athens Declaration and important initiatives for education and culture, will be signed in early November.

Afterwards, the Russian Minister had meetings with both the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as well as with the leader of the Main Opposition and SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance Chief Alexis Tsipras.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Turkey’s aggression and bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting.

During the meeting between SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras and Sergey Lavrov, the strengthening of the Greek-Russian relations over the years of the SYRIZA governance and their future prospects were analyzed.

During the meeting, the two interlocutors also discussed the developments in the wider region, with emphasis on the Eastern Mediterranean.

Alexis Tsipras stressed the importance of terminating the Turkish aggression in order to advance the investigations and the resumption of talks for a fair and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue, on the basis of UN Resolutions with the withdrawal of the occupying forces and the abolition of guarantees.

Finally, Mr. Tsipras thanked Russia for its stable positions in the Cyprus issue. /ibna